Space shuttle Endeavour

Dear Editor:I was one of hundreds of spectators camped out in front of the Columbia Memorial Space Center on Friday morning to witness the historic homecoming of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Standing on hallowed ground, we cheered and waved as the Endeavour flew over its engineering birthplace on its way to Orange County and Disneyland. For those of us lucky enough to stick around a little longer, we witnessed the Shuttle return and make a full circle around us - literally completing what most of us saw as the metaphoric full circle it was making by returning home to Southern California. Chants of "USA" could be heard as the crowd swelled with pride and patriotism at the sight of the Space Shuttle atop the 747, flanked by two fighter jet escorts. I'd like to personally thank the Space Center staff for their hard work, particularly for the more than three hours of live narration of Endeavour's trajectory, shuttle facts, and past missions. I'd also like to thank Senator Boxer and her staff and Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and her staff for reaching out to NASA to make the flyover possible. I commend my City Council colleague, Mario Guerra, for suggesting the City pursue the possibility with NASA. Most importantly, I'd like to thank the aerospace fans, Rockwell retirees and Downey residents who came out to welcome Endeavour home. Thank you for helping us to honor our aerospace roots and inspire future generations of scientists and engineers. I invite you to come out again to the Columbia Memorial Space Center to see Inspiration, the recently-named Space Shuttle Mockup (Endeavour's "grandparent"). Congratulations to Bea Jensen for having their suggested name chosen for the mock-up. Thank you again to all who made possible this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the Space Shuttle fly over the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey. Roger C. Brossmer Mayor, City of Downey

Dear Editor: By last Friday morning, everyone in Southern California knew Endeavour was coming. We had watched it on TV for two days, hitchhiking across the country. The surprising shape had become familiar. We knew within an hour's time when it would appear in our skies. We were ready. A friend and I watched from Downey Landing's parking lot, along with many others. Next to us was a van stuffed with vacation gear, a Mickey Mouse balloon and three lively boys. The family was returning home to Eureka, but they had to stop to see this event. When the first cry went up, "There it is!", Dad pointed his camera, Mom pointed out the spot for her sons, and the whole parking lot went wild. I was not prepared for the majesty. Endeavour floated close and unhurried over Downey, this cheeky shuttle, scarred by life, perched improbably on the back of a patient 747. I had no camera, but I will soon receive photos taken from where I stood, sent from my new friends in Eureka. And I'll remember forever the unexpected majesty of Endeavour, world-class traveler, hanging on by its toenails, eyes squinty in the wind. Joyce Sherwin Downey

Dear Editor: As a longtime Downey alum born in 1952 and now living in Atlanta, it brought tears to my eyes as I saw the shuttle pass over Rockwell. When my father started there it was North American, then it changed to Rockwell. He worked on the X-15 Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and all space shuttle missions. The last project before his retirement was the B-1. His name was Karl C. Miller and he was also head of the Downey Rose Float Association for many years and, in the 50s and 60s, the Downey Junior Athletic Association. Ron Miller Downey High School Class of 1970

********** Published: September 27, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 24